Apr 6, 2020
Gov. Gavin Newsom California COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 6
Read the transcript of Governor of California Gavin Newsom’s April 6 press conference on coronavirus. He announced California is sending 500 ventilators to the national stockpile, among other COVID-19 updates. Full transcript here:
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Gavin Newsom: (00:00)
Let me get this right. You got that? All right. Thank you all for indulging us as we make our way to one of the new sites that we’re upgrading to meet this moment to address the issue of the surge here in the state of California.
Gavin Newsom: (00:46)
I want to first though contextualize this moment in this space by stating the obvious. Everything that’s going on in the United States, everything that’s going on in New York and other parts of this country, we want to extend not only thoughts and prayers, but we’re also extending a hand of support with ventilators. Today we announced 500 ventilators from our cache will be sent to the national stockpile to be immediately distributed to states in need, particularly the state of New York.
Gavin Newsom: (01:18)
So, I just want to thank our team for assembling, over the weekend, the appropriate equipment, making sure that these vents work, making sure that these are the events that were recently refurbished and repurposed for exactly the purpose that they’re assigned. And again, our hearts and prayers go out to everybody as it relates to meeting this very difficult week head on and making sure that we have all of the appropriate personnel, appropriate sites, as well as equipment, particularly ventilators to support those most in need.
Gavin Newsom: (01:52)
I wanted to make an argument for the state of California’s efforts in the context of putting in perspective the work that’s being done, not just again here, but over the course of many, many months by reminding everybody that we started on this journey in January with repatriation flights that came back into the United States through the state of California for people in mainland China, American citizens. We brought them on to air force bases here in the state of California, began the formal relationship, the formal partnership with the federal government, the CDC, and their respective agencies.
Gavin Newsom: (02:32)
Of course, that generated a lot of attention and, obviously, raised the alarm bells for the state of California that we needed to prepare, not only to address the needs those were being repatriated, but begin the process to really start focusing on preparing for COVID-19 and the prospect that this virus was going to spread. That was brought further into focus with the Grand Princess Cruise Line, which generated national attention and certainly generated a lot of energy and focus in Northern California in the Bay Area. And those relationships were only strengthened.
Gavin Newsom: (03:09)
As an extension of those relationships being strengthened, it forced our hand to really start looking at assets, looking at sites, alternative care sites, not just our hospital sites, but alternative care sites that can not only meet the needs of those that were coming off the Grand Princess, but the expectation then that the Coronavirus would spread and the peak needs would exceed our capacity to deliver within our 416 hospitals.
Gavin Newsom: (03:41)
So, over the course of months, the state of California has been preparing in a very deliberative way. We phased our preparation in different frames. Phase one is the focus of today’s press conference.
Gavin Newsom: (03:56)
We want to let folks know that our phase one procurement includes some 50,000 beds above and beyond what is currently available in our hospital system. And I say currently with a caveat. We have 416 hospitals in our hospital system, some 75,000 licensed beds. We have asked the hospital system itself to create capacity to surge by roughly 40%, so 30,000 beds within the hospital system itself. The additional surge, the 50,000 phase one goal, would come from the state working with partners at the local level, 20,000 beds for alternative care sites. So, within the hospital system, acute care, a focus on building capacity and assets in and around those hospital footprints, in and around the emergency rooms, in and around the operating rooms with existing staff to the extent we need to surge the staff HealthCorps support that we’ve been talking about, over the course of the last week or so.
Gavin Newsom: (05:05)
This is one of the sites of the 20,000 sites that the state of California has procured. And, as you can see behind me, quite literally is being brought into a condition where we can start accepting patients as early as April 20th. We’re here in the Sacramento region, the Sleep Train Arena where the Sacramento Kings once played. This is a site that will provide for 400 beds specifically for patients that are either being discharged from a hospital system, from our emergency departments, or going here directly with mild to moderate symptoms. The acute care will continue to be provided in our hospital system as part of their larger surge.
Gavin Newsom: (05:52)
This is one of a dozen plus sites that the state of California has already procured. We currently have locked in 4,613 specific bed sites now throughout the state of California. We have sites like this arena in every major region in the state of California. Those 4,613 beds are currently locked down. But they’re not, by any stretch, the totality of what we’re trying to source and the number, again, of 20,000 that we ultimately are going to seek. We have 5,005 additional beds that we currently have identified and in the process of negotiations. But we’ve locked in, like we have here, 4,613, again, with an anticipated peak into mid-May. So, we’re well on schedule, all part of our ongoing preparation plan, phase one to get to those 50,000 beds.
Gavin Newsom: (06:54)
Let me flesh out a little bit more about what those beds look like because they all don’t look like this arena. We worked first to secure Seton Hospital in Northern California, a hospital that was no longer operating as it once was. 220 beds specifically now available at Seton. We did the same for St. Vincent Hospital down in Los Angeles. 266 beds will be made available. And, by the way, that goes operational on Monday, April 13th because of a partnership with Dignity and a partnership with Kaiser. And I want to thank a Dignity and Lloyd Dean, Kaiser and Greg Adams for their support, their stewardship, working with the county to secure that site and make St. Vincent operational. Of course, the USNS mercy, also part of that hospital surge, 550 beds as part of phase one of their capacity build. So, those are on the hospital side. Those are assets locked in.
Gavin Newsom: (07:54)
On the alternative care side of things, not only, again, this arena, but we’ve identified Fairview Developmental Center, 520 beds. We’ve identified Porterville Developmental Center, 246 beds. We have identified other locations throughout the state of California including hotel rooms in San Carlos, 120 beds. And then, we have on top of that, all of those medical stations that came from the federal government with the support of the president, 2,000 beds as part of that FMS program. Five of those sites are already up, not necessarily running, but locked down. And we’ve unloaded all of the cache, the equipment and supplies, and we have prep those sites. Three additional sites of those original eight, 250 beds per, that’s the 2,000, eight sites, five done, three remaining. Those three are up and around Shasta, Butte County. We have one down in San Diego.
Gavin Newsom: (09:03)
And I want to congratulate the work of the county down there for announcing that and finding the appropriate site for that. Nathan Fletcher, supervisor, and others were doing that over the weekend. And then, a site in Fresno that we are in the process of unloading and setting up. So, those eight sites, plus those hospitals, plus alternative care sites like this, that’s the 4,613 beds that we have locked down and ready to go with.
Gavin Newsom: (09:36)
That said, it’s one thing to have the beds, it’s another to have the personnel. And just to explain a little bit about how these things are working, the hospitals, I talked about the partnership with Kaiser and Dignity down in Southern California. Each and every site has different operations, different specs in terms of support, who’s managing them, where we’re procuring the appropriate protective gear, and the like.
Gavin Newsom: (10:01)
The FMS sites, these medical stations, are county, state partnerships. In some cases the county is taking all the responsibility themselves, but broadly county, state partnerships. As it relates to sites like this, we are working with the county and we are working through our HealthCorps, which now has a total number of applications… this was the health Corp.ca.gov website we launched less than a week ago. Over 81, 879 people, over, as of this morning, 81,879 people have filled out a formal application on that site. That will provide the surge capacity in terms of personnel we’ll need to appropriately staff, as an example, the 400 beds that will be on this specific site. And, by the way, I recognize for those that are focusing with real acuity, detailed attention on that HealthCorps site, we have a lot of existing license-
Gavin Newsom: (11:03)
… Tension on that Health Corps site. We have a lot of existing licensed medical professionals that are currently working that have also applied on that site to potentially be redeployed to more acute needs within the system, but it’s still a jaw-dropping number, 80 plus thousand people that are willing to meet this moment. Again, these are the phlebotomists, the EMTs, the paramedics, the nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors and the like, radiologists that have all filled out that application. So physical sites, the human capital that are needed and doing everything we can to procure more PPE. We are not naive. We’re very proud to be able to extend a hand of support with those 500 ventilators and send them back east, but we’re not naive that we need to continue to procure more ventilators, not just gowns, masks, coveralls, shields, these N95 masks in particular and we continue to do everything in our power to continue to build out that inventory as well.
Gavin Newsom: (12:03)
Again, it’s a three-legged stool. You need the place, you need the people and you need the protective gear to make these things work and to meet the surge responsibilities and meet the surge expectations that are part of our modeling. Again, the models mean nothing if we begin to step back and change our behavior by getting cabin fever and no longer practicing physical distancing. Physical distancing is working. The more we commit to meeting this head on by continuing to practice social distancing, but substantively physical distancing, wearing the appropriate … Well, not masks, but face coverings when you are forced to get in a queue or in a line and be around other people where you can’t practice physical distancing, for example, at a grocery store. If we continue to do that, we continue to hold the line, then these models will continue to buy us time because you by definition are bending the curve, which allows us the days and weeks to do exactly what you see being done right behind me here at Sleep Train Arena.
Gavin Newsom: (13:13)
Speaking of here, I want to now ask that the owner of the Sacramento Kings who owns this site come up and say a few words because we wouldn’t be here without him and without his support. It’s just an example of people all stepping in to meet this moment head on and I just want to congratulate Vivek and his partnerships that he has formed with food banks in the Sacramento region. The 100,000 masks that his foundation has provided and his personal largess has afforded and the hundreds of thousands of dollars the foundation has provided in cash contributions to those in need. It’s just an example of philanthropy at scale and people extending their hand. And so Vivek, thank you on behalf of a very grateful state and perhaps you can just share some thoughts and words about why you let us open these doors and let everybody start working here at this facility.
Thank you governor. I just wanted to start by thanking you. Thanks to your forward looking bold, decisive leadership. There’s no question you’re the best governor in America, but when history is written, people are going to remember that thanks to your actions, thousands if not tens of thousands of lives have been saved. So as a California, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank Congresswoman Matsui for her leadership in Washington, our great Mayor Steinberg and Councilwoman Ashby for their partnership and their support. This is a really difficult time for all of us and our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by this terrible virus. Also want to show great gratitude to the doctors, the nurses, the folks that deliver us food, all the people that are on the front lines facing this invisible enemy every single day. So we owe you and thank you. Thank you for your efforts.
We at the Sacramento Kings have always believed that it’s bigger than basketball and if we can use our platform to impact the world in a positive way and make a difference, then that’s what we need to do. The city has always been there for us and we will be there for the city in any small way that we can. Where we’re standing right now is actually one of the iconic venues in sports history. This is actually where LeBron played his first game and now it’s going to be taking care of Californians. So its history of big moments continues. We thought we were done with this arena when we moved out, but in fact the arena still lives on and hopefully it’ll play its part in contributing to the state.
Governor, I’m an immigrant to this great country and I have a great belief and faith in the ingenuity, the resilience, and the determination of the American people. So I fully believe as bad as this invisible enemy is, thanks to your leadership, we in California and we in America will triumph over this and I thank all of you for giving us the opportunity to be some small part of your efforts. Thank you.
Gavin Newsom: (17:07)
Thank you. Thank you so much. On behalf of all of us for immediately making available this arena. Before we even asked this was offered and the fact that we’re here in such short period of time and already seen the construction is testament to your support and to the spirit that you have advanced. And so I’m very, very grateful to you. Let me just extend a few other points of consideration. We talk about these 50,000 beds in our phase one strategy based on our modeling. Here’s some good news. Within the hospital system itself, they believe they have the capacity in our 416 hospitals to do even more than the 30,000 beds that they originally proposed. That was a representative about a 40% search. They believe they can do thousands of additional beds, and we believe that’s the most appropriate use of resources because the staffing already exists and the footprints at those sites could be expanded much more efficiently and effectively, and the staffing much more efficient and effective if indeed that’s the case.
Gavin Newsom: (18:21)
So the overall numbers will begin to shift between those two buckets based upon the manifestation of those additional plans. And so once again, I want to just thank the hospital system, their representatives for doing a wonderful job, including on this point. We’ve talked about ventilators, the 500 ventilators. One of the reasons we felt more confident in our ability to extend a hand on ventilators and send them back east is because the hospitals themselves that originally had an inventory of 7,587 vents, 7,587 vents, today have currently 11,036 vents.
Gavin Newsom: (19:01)
So they went from 7,500 to over 11,000 over the course of the last few weeks. That’s on the basis of repurposing or refurbishing all vents and also procuring new vents. That has put less strain and pressure on the state’s effort to procure additional ventilators. Make no mistake though, we are full force going around the world to procure even more ventilators and continue to work with companies on bridge ventilators like the ones we’ve been talking about, the Virgin Orbit and others are beginning to procure and do more to make sure that we are being innovative in terms of how we utilize existing events working in partnership with Stanford University and others.
Gavin Newsom: (19:47)
Here’s just a quick update. 14,336 that’s the official count, that’s up 6.7%, total number of COVID-19 positives. 1,085, this, again, is the number when I wake up first thing in the morning, no exaggeration, first thing I look at is the number of people in ICUs. 1,085. Number of hospitalized 2,509 that represents 4.6% increase in the hospitalizations from yesterday. 4.3% increase in the total number of ICU patients from yesterday. We tragically have lost 234 lives, or excuse me, 343 lives, 343 lives to this virus. Hearts go out to every single member, loved one family member community that had been impacted by these losses. We’ll continue to update you on the number of N95 masks that come in and go out, continue to update you on the number of Health Corps folks that have signed up and begin the process of being evaluated, triaged to be deployed and redeployed throughout our healthcare delivery system.
Gavin Newsom: (21:09)
I want to continue to thank everybody that wants to contribute their time and their energy, which I know a lot of us have energy because we’re stuck at home. We want to contribute. The serve.ca.gov website, the serve.ca.gov website remains the best place if you want to volunteer to support the homeless and food banks, give blood, connect to our Cal volunteer site and the like. We hope people continue to reach out a hand and continue to practice the physical distancing that has allowed us the time to procure the kind of assets that we are now seeing here today. So with that, happy to take any questions. And again, I want to thank everybody for making this particular sight possible in such a quick period of time.
Sofia Bollack: (22:01)
Hi governor. Sofia Bollack here from-
Gavin Newsom: (22:02)
Period of time.
Sofia Bollack: (22:02)
Hi Governor Sophia [Bulag 00:22:03] here from the Sacramento Bee. I’m going to be asking questions on behalf of the press corps today, so thank you so much for taking our questions. To start off, can you explain why you’ve been talking about phase one as a distinct entity? What exactly does phase one mean in your modelingn and what’s the difference between phase one and any subsequent phases?
Gavin Newsom: (22:23)
First phase, we break things down incrementally so we can focus our attention with acuity, and we look at our modeling, and we looked out over the course of last month into this month. And April phase one is through the month of April phase two. When you look at our models that we made public last week, you’ll see those numbers go north of 50,000. That would represent phase two of our process. So this is within the month of April, our first phase, finding 50,000 beds between the acute care system, the hospitals, and these alternative care sites for mild and moderate symptomatic individuals, or those that have been discharged from the hospital systems. So that’s the breakdown specifically. If we enter into May and our modeling and projection numbers remain static, meaning they show that they’re continuing to grow, then we’ll enter in that phase two.
Sofia Bollack: (23:20)
Many reporters have questions about the ventilators and those 500 that you’ve sent to the national stockpile. What convinced you that we could afford to send those ventilators? Why did you decide to send them to the national stockpile, and not directly to a place like New York?
Gavin Newsom: (23:37)
New York is one of the states that is in desperate need of ventilators. We worked with our federal partners, particularly Bob Fenton, our regional director of FEMA, and Bob felt it was more appropriate if we can work within that national stockpile to immediately, this does not go to some warehouse, doesn’t collect dust, to immediately redeploy them as needed based upon conditions on the ground. We could have prescribed what we thought was appropriate, that all 500 go to New York. They may go to New York, but we feel they’re better positioned from the perspective of logistics to direct or redirect them to other parts of the country in real time as needed.
Gavin Newsom: (24:18)
The reason we made the determination over the weekend of the availability was twofold. Number one, as I mentioned a moment ago, we now have new inventory in our hospital systems of over 11,036 ventilators, substantially higher than the 7,587 that was identified just a few weeks ago. In addition to that, we’re getting back all of those ventilators, over a thousand now, that had been refurbished. We’ve got another thousand or so that are currently being refurbished. And we were down at Bloom Energy, that’s the site that’s doing most of those refurbishing, that’s moving quite efficiently and effectively. I’m anticipating receiving an additional 500 ventilators as early as tomorrow, though give me a day or two. When they say things are arriving and they actually arrive, sometimes those things don’t align perfectly. But we are confident in our procurement of thousands of additional ventilators, the first 500 arriving as early as tomorrow. For all of those reasons and the responsibility, the moral and ethical responsibility of providing resources in real time to those most in need, that’s why we thought it appropriate to send those.
Sofia Bollack: (25:34)
What happens if Californians need those 500 ventilators back in a few weeks?
Gavin Newsom: (25:36)
Well, if we need them back in a few weeks, we’ll get them back. They’re conditioned on changing conditions here in the state. These are lent, they’re not given, and I have confidence, all the confidence, based upon our modeling, based upon the extraordinary work of individuals that continue to practice appropriate physical distancing. If we change our behaviors, the model changes radically. If we continue to double down on our behaviors, the model will remain as it currently has. And that will give us the time, well within the next few weeks, to have enough ventilators, we believe, to meet the needs of 40 million Californians that may be vulnerable to this virus, ending up in hospitals and on ICUs. But we had our professionals look at this. We looked at our modeling, we looked at conditions on the ground, and we feel confident in our capacity to meet our needs as we support the needs of others.
Sofia Bollack: (26:34)
Phil [Willen 00:26:35] of the Los Angeles Times asks, given concerns that COVID-19 might rebound in the fall, perhaps to even a greater degree than the current outbreak, what is the state doing to prepare for that possibility? Will it force California to keep schools closed or to stockpile respirators and PPE, and inhibit California from sharing those items with other States?
Gavin Newsom: (26:55)
We’re not hoarding anything. We’re providing support as we can, and to the extent we find more avenues of procurement for PPE of all stripes and we feel our needs are met, we will share those with people all across the country as needed. We are a major purchaser of PPE outside the federal government, the largest in the United States, so we can do things at scale. We have relationships in China, around the world, that are distinctive and unique, and we are going to do our best to row in the same direction as others. And so we hope that we can continue to increase our supplies.
Gavin Newsom: (27:34)
There was a warehouse two days ago where we had, just in that one warehouse, distributed 15,000,095 masks. In just a few weeks, they were distributed. Those were the masks that were there for years and years and years. That warehouse was all been empty, millions more we hope to replenish. And so as we go into different phases, to Phil’s question about different phases, that we’re prepared to meet those phases head on, but know this. We’re Americans first and foremost. We happen to have 40 million Americans live in the great state of California. And as a nation state we can do certain things where we can punch above our weight, and we carry a big weight. But to the extent that other Americans need our support, our largess, and to the extent we have the resources, we’re going to be there for as many people as we possibly can. But know this, we’re also taking care of our 40 million Californians as well.
Sofia Bollack: (28:30)
There’s been some speculation that COVID-19 might recede with the warmer summer months. I’m wondering, have you guys seen that in some of the warmer parts of California, and is that something that you’re incorporating into your modeling?
Gavin Newsom: (28:42)
Yeah, we’ll see what happens, but based upon the data that’s coming in, we will in real time assess any of those changes in patterns. Look, the numbers keep going up here in the state of California, the number of positives, number of tests, number of people in ICUs, number of people hospitalized, and tragically the number of people that have lost their lives. Conditions to your question are unique and distinctive depending on what parts of the state you are in. And we’ve heard people speculate about the seasonality of this virus, but it’s too early based upon information that we have to make any determinations around that speculation. And there’s no patterns that exists within the state that I’m aware of that would lead us to conclude that that indeed is the case.
Gavin Newsom: (29:29)
We’re hopeful in the seasonality, but by no stretch of the imagination does that change our modeling currently or our approach to procuring sites, people, and appropriate personal protective gear. And forgive me, this goes to Phil’s previous question as well. All of that will be determinative. Facts on the ground, the experts and their opinions, make the determination to make the determination about schools, and make the determination when people go back to work at sporting events like basketball or football season and the like. But again, too early to speculate on any of that until the data starts to bear the kind of clarity that is needed to make those determinations.
Sofia Bollack: (30:15)
Rachel Becker of CalMatters asks, how do you intend to incorporate antibody tests into California’s ongoing response? What do you envision the role of antibody tests will be in getting people back to work?
Gavin Newsom: (30:26)
Foundational, fundamental, and that’s why the serology tests with Stanford are so important. Our first homegrown serum, serology test that will be done. This will be ultimately determinative, will be probably the biggest area of focus in terms of language we’re using and the nomenclature, antibodies and proteins that we’re trying to attach later to the immune system. All part of figuring out whether or not people have immunity, people have the kind of antibodies that will allow us to process new protocols in order to get people back into the workforce, or at least back in to society in more traditional ways. So this is a deep area of focused concentration, I know all across the United States, and not just here in the state of California, and I should just note this frame around community surveillance and making sure that we are testing asymptomatic individuals to understand more about this virus is critical in ultimately advancing our testing goals. Some of those goals we revamped and announced just 48 hours ago, and this is certainly a big part of that.
Sofia Bollack: (31:36)
You and your team said on Saturday that you were expecting that test would be FDA approved later that day. Did that happen, and are your plans that you’ve laid out Saturday to start using that test this week, are those on track?
Gavin Newsom: (31:47)
Yeah, I believe they are. Let me double down on the official approval and get right back to you.
Sofia Bollack: (31:52)
Thank you. Adam Beam of the Associated Press asks, will you pause the scheduled minimum wage increase because of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Gavin Newsom: (32:02)
Well, that’s January, and we’ll make a determination in real time. I have my budget team meeting again later this afternoon. I’ve got a team of some of the best minds that I can find on economic recovery, and really starting to plan detailed plans when we turn the corner and turn the page on this phase of the virus, how we can really start jump-starting the economy. Testing is the predicate to making that happen, along the lines of those antibody tests that were just referenced, and then of course coming up with a comprehensive economic and workforce development plan to get people off unemployment insurance, get them back into the workforce, do everything we can to keep small businesses afloat during this very challenging period of time. We’ve talked a lot about that 72 hours ago in terms of our small business supports, but ultimately the determination on some of those macro questions like unemployment, or rather, like minimum wage, will be determined as we plan.
Gavin Newsom: (33:03)
Minimum wage will be determined as we plan or as we roll out these larger plans.
Sofia Bollack: (33:06)
Mike Lurry of KCRA is asking for an update on the California health course. Specifically, do you have a budget figure in mind for the program and how it will be paid for?
Gavin Newsom: (33:15)
Yeah, look, it’s going to be paid for, and I’ve been asked this on multiple occasions and I’ll remind everybody that we have the capacity within the existing funding systems, be it the Medi-Cal system, other systems of support including our own contributions through the general fund and our reserves, and more important than anything else, the federal government and FEMA’s reimbursements that all stack and answer to that question. Depending on the bucket, those are connected to the reimbursement and the processing of those paychecks. I will though remind you that not everybody that will be part of the health corps, again over 81,000 people that have already signed up, not all of them will be able to provide for their childcare, for their transportation and for their lodging. And I again want to just thank Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg for providing tens of millions of dollars to help with stipends for those individuals as well. So deep support from the federal government, state and some modest support in the context in totality from the private sector and philanthropy.
Sofia Bollack: (34:30)
How are you vetting those candidates?
Gavin Newsom: (34:32)
They’re going through a very comprehensive process. We’ve got a team of people going through every single one of those applications. Remember when we launched this, we said the universe of expectation was around 37,000. We’ve now blown past 80,000, which again just is extraordinary. And so we’re going through those. A lot of folks filled out forms and they already have existing jobs within the healthcare delivery system. So we’re weeding those numbers out and we are triaging multiple things. There’s geographic triage, meaning where are you physically and where are the needs most? See if those match. There are salary expectations and needs. See if those match the skillsets. Looking at where people are in their licensing process and queue. Are you coming from a medical school or nursing school? Are you retired and you’re coming back into the workforce? All of those things are triaged. We may have too many phlebotomists in certain areas, not enough pharmacists in other areas, so all of that being done by team of remarkable people, Heidi and others that are here, that are doing pretty much just that full time.
Sofia Bollack: (35:39)
Alex Michelson at Fox 11 News asks, speaker Pelosi wants to pass another stimulus through Congress. What’s the most pressing need that California has from the federal government?
Gavin Newsom: (35:48)
To help those that are still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, that never fully recovered. And to protect individuals that are most in need. Let’s not exacerbate income and wealth disparities. Let’s not exacerbate growing anxiety around a two class society when we grew up in a three class society with the middle-class getting squeezed. We really got to focus on those that were left out of the last bail outs in ’08, ’09 and make sure we do not replicate that same mistake.
Sofia Bollack: (36:21)
Deborah Kahn of Politico asks, why is the state reporting cases in such a broad age category for 18 to 49 year olds and then narrower categories for the young and old? Are you trying to scare younger people and can you provide more specific numbers for that?
Gavin Newsom: (36:36)
Well, no, it’s just that’s the information that’s been provided. We go zero to 17, we do 18 to 49, 50 to 64, 65 and over. That’s the data that we’ve been putting out, and to the extent the question suggests, we’re not scaring anybody, suggest that we can disaggregate that data further, I’d be happy to consider putting our folks on that. I will just remind everybody that that data that we are putting out shows that half of the individuals with COVID-19, one half are under the age of 49, just a reminder of the power of individual decision making and for young people to be reminded that that individual decision-making must maintain a strong, strong regime of physical distancing. Even if you have mild symptoms, even if you don’t know that you have the virus, you can spread the virus to the most vulnerable. And so again, the data has helped us identify those buckets of concern, half under the age of 49. Happy to look at breaking them down even further.
Sofia Bollack: (37:47)
Jim Rope of Westwood One Radio asks, people have been saying they would like to know if the mitigation efforts are working. Is there any data or a specific point on a graph or a chart that indicates the state is actually seeing success and slowing the spread?
Gavin Newsom: (37:59)
Yeah, you’re seeing that in our modeling. You’re seeing that in the modeling we presented publicly. We’re seeing that in the capacity for us to be standing right here. This is a physical manifestation of the work that has been done by 40 million Californians proving to be successful on the basis of buying us time. And this allows us to do the kinds of things that frankly some other parts of this country weren’t able to do because they were overwhelmed. The system got overwhelmed. So every minute of every day, every hour of every day, every day of every week, every week of every month is critical for us to make sure that we’re preparing for a surge and a worst case scenario. But the current modeling that we have made public and the growth, as I said, the growth you’ve seen just in the ICU and the hospitalizations, the two most critical numbers from our perspective, that growth has been steady. And if you extend that out, we are looking at a path into May before we peak based on current data.
Sofia Bollack: (39:03)
Doug Sovereign of KCBS has another question on the ventilators. He asks, politically, is this something of a rebuke to the white house, which said over the weekends that the states have to fend for themselves and not rely so much on the federal government? And are you sending a message to the Trump administration that California can not only take care of itself, but the nation too?
Gavin Newsom: (39:22)
No, that’s not why we’re doing it. We’re doing it because we can do it. I’m not looking to point fingers. I’m not looking to play politics. I’m not going to point fingers. I’m not going to play politics. I want to thank the administration for reaching out to the state of California and working with us through FEMA to identify a minimum of 500 ventilators. I’d like to be able to do more. I feel a deep responsibility and an anxiety as we all do watching the national news. What more can I do? I’m on conference calls with the governors comparing and contrasting conditions on the ground. We had a governor’s only call today with the vice president, and people expressing their anxiety and concerns. I wish I can solve that for everybody. And to the extent we can, we will. And to the extent that we are expected to, yes, we should be expected to. This is the state of California. We have an abundance mindset, and we’re a well-resourced state. So I expect and I imagine everybody expects California to do more than most other states, and we’ll continue to try to do our best.
Sofia Bollack: (40:30)
Your staff is telling me that that’s all the questions you have time for. So thank you so much for answering those.
Gavin Newsom: (40:36)
Thanks very much. And thank you everybody. Just want to remind everybody of the importance of, I haven’t done so five or six times, let me do it a seventh and an eighth time. Practice physical distancing. Thank you to everybody. Over the course of this weekend, our parks, our playgrounds, our beaches were I think reasonably, reasonably, not in every case, reasonably underwhelmed because people were taking the stay at home order seriously and taking the physical distancing seriously. As the weather gets better over the course of this next week and into the weekend, I will remind everybody on a daily basis, even more on an hourly basis, to continue to double down on what has been working here in the state of California. Let us not look back and dream of regretting because we didn’t do all we could to continue to bend that curve. Let’s continue at the pace that currently is underway. Thank you everybody. And stay safe.